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How West Midlands uber-rich made their fortunes

Birmingham | News | Published:

It's safe to say that money is no object for this exclusive group of West Midlands multi-millionaires.

Ocean-going yachts? Holidays in the world's most exclusive locations? Private jets? Shouldn't pose any sort of problem for our uber-rich collection.

This group of the fabulously wealthy makes up our contribution to this year's Sunday Times Rich List as the region's most well-to-do people. And for the first time ever we can now boast five billionaires from the West Midlands.

The list is once again topped by a couple who can boast a fortune of £9.7 billion.

Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli are the fifth richest in the UK and among 104 billionaires included on the main list.

Mrs Bertarelli is from Stone, in Staffordshire, and a singer-songwriter who has written for girl band All Saints.

Her husband ran the family's Geneva-based Serono pharmaceuticals company, which was sold to Merck for £8 billion.

The Bertarelli Foundation this year poured £108m into Campus Biotech, a new venture to create one of the world's leading biotechnology research centres.

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Second on the list is JCB chairman Lord Bamford, also of Staffordshire, with a fortune of £3.1 billion which has remained steady over the past year.

Next up is Phones4U billionaire John Cauldwell, originally from Birmingham but who later moved to Stoke-on-Trent. His fortune is also a steady £1.5 billion.

Peter, Denise and John Coates, from Stoke-on-Trent, saw their wealth rise by £275 million over the past year taking them to £1.2 billion and fourth place on the West Midlands Rich List.

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Peter, 76, is chairman of Stoke City, the Premier League football club, but the family's wealth is derived from its gambling business.

Wolves chairman Steve Morgan, who is owner of Redrow builders, has moved two places to sixth after his personal fortune rose by £140 million to £650 million.

Roy Richardson, who founded the successful Richardson group with his twin brother Don, also saw his fortunes rise by £115 million giving him a total of £500 million and joint eighth place in the list. He is best known for the regeneration of the Round Oak Steelworks in Brierley Hill into the Merry Hill Shopping Centre.

Richard Harpin is the founder of Walsall-based Homeserve, one of the United Kingdom's largest home maintenance and insurance firm. At number 15, he has a fortune of £197m.

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